by Bruce Sarte
This is an excerpt from my latest novel, Philadelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel. In this scene, Lance receives another phone call from the mysterious young girl and gets some important information from his partner, Linc Diesel.___________
“Hello?” I offered, hoping for a response but just like earlier in the day, nothing. It was actually starting to get on my nerves considering the kind of day I ended up having. “Look, I know that you are with or work for #1 Velvet Dragon Industries and I know where the warehouse is so I’d really…”
“You shouldn’t have come to the warehouse today,” she interrupted in a flat monotone.
“No? Why not? You…”
“Javier and Miguel will shoot you,” she interrupted again in the same flat monotone. So that’s what Sleeves' and Crucifix’ names were. Wonder which was which.
“Your Hispanic friends don’t scare me. I was just trying to make sure you weren’t in trouble.” I paused hoping for some input from my mystery caller. “Are you in trouble?”
“I… I…” she stammered, unsure of herself suddenly. “I should have never called you, I just want to tell you not to worry and that it was a mistake for me to call you.” Her speech pattern had increased almost to the level of panic. “Just stay away… they will hurt you and…” She stopped suddenly and let her words hang.
“And?” I prompted.
“Nothing,” the flat tone had returned, “just stay away.”
“Who is this? Why are you calling me?” No response. “Hello? Are you still there?” But the mystery girl was gone. Just like before, I didn’t have anything tangible but I felt like something was wrong and I was responsible for thisgirl. And somehow, she felt a responsibility for… me?
I looked at my missed calls and saw it was Linc who had called earlier.
“Lance. Linc. Call me. You want to know whose car that is.” He said it matter-of-factly, as if I wanted to know whose car that was. Not implying a question. So I did as instructed by my venerable partner of few words but many skills.
“Hey Linc!” I said in my best mobster impression. Linc loves it when I poke fun at his Italian heritage. “Wassa happening!” More ethnic humor.
“The car is registered to Soriano Mustafa.” That Linc, always right to the point. But this little piece of information caught me off-guard.
“Say what now?” Soriano Mustafa was one of the biggest crime bosses this side of New York City and the word was that he even had ties upthere.
“And do you want to guess who is listed at the owner of #1 Velvet Dragon Industries?” Linc added in his gravely baritone.
“Soriano Mustafa?" I wagered a guess.
“Bingo.” His gritty voice stayed steady.
“You didn’t happen to see what #1 Velvet Dragon Industries does exactly?" I took a shot.
“They are listed as an import and export enterprise. But I made some calls.” Linc is nothing if not thorough. “You familiar with Savannah’s?”
“Of course.” Savannah’s is a high-priced, elitist gentlemen’s club. It was the kind of place that had a membership fee per year, not a cover charge. Only the wealthiest people were members. Only the youngest and most beautiful women danced at Savannah’s. There were rumors that for the right price, anything could be had. “You know, I’ve heard of it.”
“Number 1 Velvet Dragon Industries owns eighty percent. They also own a stake in the Maritime Museum and The Moshulu.”
“So why does this make me want to find this girl even more, Linc?”
Philadelphia Story is available in Paperback, Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook and Apple iBookstore formats. Find out more about Philadelphia Story at my website, http://www.bruceasarte.com. Now through the end of August, sign up for my newsletter and gain an entry to win an Amazon Kindle Fire!
Bruce A. SarteAuthor, Sands of Time, Towering Pines, The Star of Christmas
Check Out My New Release — Philadelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel
Visit me on the web: http://www.bruceasarte.com
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